Becoming a full-time freelancer takes a lot of time and effort. But to be a successful one, you have to give it everything you’ve got.
Unlike a typical office job, freelance work will test your patience and discipline by subjecting you to spaces that are not really conducive for work, tempting you with distractions like the television or the freedom to browse the web while on duty, and many other challenges that won’t be present in a usual office setup.
If you want to be a successful virtual assistant or any other type of freelancer, you have to possess or at least cultivate these 7 personality traits:
Because freelance work requires talking with many people over a medium where miscommunication is rampant, it’s important for any freelancer to be able to communicate well. This means that you have to be able to express your thoughts succinctly and in a manner that’s easy to understand so that you leave no room for misunderstandings. Remember, it only takes a few words to win or lose a client.
Highly motivated and disciplined
Without a supervisor or manager constantly asking you for updates, it can be easy to ignore the looming deadlines and piles of tasks. This is why it’s very important for a freelancer or virtual assistant to be highly motivated and disciplined.
To ensure that you’re churning out quality work at the right time, you have to be able to create a good work schedule and stick to it. You should be strong enough to resist the call of the television, your gaming console, your social media profiles, or any other thing that could put a damper on your work.
In the freelance world, it pays (literally) to be able to do a wide range of tasks well. You don’t have to be an expert at all of them. Being able to write proficiently and do basic graphic design on the side means that you have twice as many options as the freelancer who only has one skill.
Curious and proactive
These two skills go hand in hand. In order to be a flexible freelancer, you have to be curious about learning new skills that will boost your resume. On top of that, you have to be proactive at actually studying them and working on building those skills. It’s not enough to want to improve, you have to actively work to reach your goal as well.
Whether you’re waiting for feedback from a supervisor or revising your work for a particularly nitpicky client, patience is essential when doing freelance work. Being patient is important in your day-to-day work as well. Sometimes, you might find that things are just not going your way and that the task that should have been finished ages ago is taking you a lot longer to complete. Things like this are unavoidable in the virtual assistant industry, so you have to be tolerant enough to bear with them.
Although giving and receiving feedback is not necessarily confined to the freelance world, it’s still a huge part of the job. In order to succeed as a freelancer, you have to stay humble when getting feedback on your work. There’s nothing wrong with taking pride in your work, but you should always remember to be gracious when receiving comments from your supervisor or client. If you can’t take criticism well, you’ll be hard-pressed to find success in the virtual assistant industry.
While being a freelancer or a VA won’t require you to face people on a regular basis, it’s still important to remain professional at all times. Just because you don’t share an office with your coworkers doesn’t mean that you can gossip about them or treat them unprofessionally. Whether it’s meeting deadlines, discussing your coworkers, or explaining issues with your work, you always have to remain professional and cordial. There’s no place for tantrum throwers in the freelance world.
These personality traits are not the only things that make up a successful freelance career, but they’re certainly essential if you want to become a highly sought-after virtual assistant. So if you’re planning to embark on a lifelong journey to become a freelancer, make sure that you’ve got all the personality traits above in spades.